Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Capturing cabochons

It's no secret that I adore handmade glass cabochons. I've used them in bead embroidered pieces many times, stitching a bezel of tiny size 11 seed beads around them to secure the cabochon to the backing. The down side of this was that you had to cover quite a bit of the outside edge - unless you were prepared to also use a glue on the back. I've never been happy to use glue in my beadwork, and wanting to show off every bit of the glass has led me to my wirework pieces. 'Ivy Lustre' has proved to be such an enjoyable challenge in this respect.

I really wanted to showcase the triangular shape of this one so the wire is carefully engineered to make a tension setting for it. Here is a picture of the back of the necklace showing the tension mounting.
This has allowed me to make a wire squiggle over the front top to echo the foiled stripe that catches the light within the glass.
More pictures and a bit about what inspired me to make it can be found on my website at: http://www.beadizzy.com/

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Ivy lustre - a necklace of foliage and berries

Mindfulness….. It’s a word I’ve been hearing a lot recently. I’ve heard it on TV in advertisements for those adult colouring books that have become the latest craze, and I’ve come across it all over the internet. The pace of modern life is so hectic that it seems we are making time for a little calm and creativity. Turning separate elements into something lovely is the ultimate relaxation therapy and escape. The satisfaction of ending up with something that you’ve made – that is more than the sum of its parts, that contains a small bit of what makes you tick, is what every artist is after. It can be a cupcake, a painting, a poem, a tapestry, a dance, or a necklace – it will be a magical process and it will contain a piece of you. The mindfulness bit comes in its making, deciding whether to have pink or chocolate frosting, knowing when to stop painting that sky, or choosing whether to include pearls or crystals in your jewellery project. You simply have to have your focus in the moment and as a result you escape from the stresses of everyday life for a while.

When it goes well you are in ‘flow’ Yet another modern buzz word! Intuition kicks in and the work goes well. Challenges resolve themselves as you lose yourself in the project and everyday life takes a back seat, just for a few minutes, or a few hours if you are lucky.
I’ve had such a lovely week working on this ‘Ivy Lustre’ piece, and it’s reached a happily challenging stage in its creation. At first a thought I would thread a piece if wire right across the top of the pendant section of my necklace as shown in the first photo when it was in the early stages.
 But it just doesn’t feel right to have it like that and it needs to be curvier. So as you can see in the pictures below, I am in the middle of resolving this particular challenge. I also decided to swap the large round copper coloured bead on the top left hand side in favour of a flat oval one, so that I could lay a little trail of wire over it, to echo the piece I laid over the main cabochon.

Looking at a book on art nouveau jewellery has helped to give me some inspiration.
They knew all about curved organic shapes. My intention is to make something reminiscent of trailing ivy greenery with a hint of frosted berry, a piece you could wear over the festive season.  I’ll get there in the end!